US announces resumption of relations with Palestinians


UNITED NATIONS (AP) – US President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Tuesday that it was restoring relations with the Palestinians and renewed aid to Palestinian refugees, a reversal of the Trump administration’s cutoff and two-state A key element of its new support for a solution is the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Acting US Ambassador Richard Mills announced Biden’s vision at a high-level virtual security council meeting, with the new US administration believing that “Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state while retaining the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians” Is the best way to make sure. ” To have one’s own position and live with dignity and security. “

President Donald Trump’s administration provided unprecedented support to Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv, slowing financial aid for Palestinians and claimed by the Palestinians Reversed the illegality of Israeli settlements on the land.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 war. The international community considers both territories to be occupied territories, and Palestinians seek them as part of a future independent state. Since its occupation in 1967, Israel has built a far-flung network of about 700,000 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The peace plan unveiled by Trump a year ago incorporates a disgruntled Palestinian state that replaces key parts of the West Bank with Israel, including the borders and the state of Jerusalem and the ghettos. This was rejected by the Palestinians.

Mills gave the Biden administration an even more explicit approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Under the new administration, the policy of the United States would be to support a mutually agreed two-state solution, one in which Israel remains in peace and security with a viable Palestinian state,” he said.

Mills said peace cannot be invoked on both sides and stressed that progress and a final solution require the participation and agreement of Israelis and Palestinians.

“To further these objectives, the Biden administration will restore credible American engagement with the Palestinians as well as Israel,” he said.

“This will involve renewing US relations with the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people,” Mills said.

“President Biden has clarified that he intends to restore US aid programs that support economic development programs and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, and to reopen diplomatic relations closed by previous US administrations Take steps. ” Mills said.

Trump cut funding for the United Nations Relief and Construction Agency known as UNRWA, which was set up to aid 700,000 Palestinians who fled during the war around the founding of Israel in 1948 or their homes Were forced from. It provides education, health care, food and more. Assistance to some 5.5 million refugees and their descendants in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The US was the major donor to UNRWA and the loss of funds has caused a financial crisis for the agency.

The Trump administration closed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington in September 2018, effectively closing the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission to the United States.

Mills said the United States hopes to begin working to gradually build trust on both sides to create an environment to reach a two-state solution.

To pursue this goal, Mills said, “The United States will urge the Israeli government and the Palestinians to avoid unilateral steps that would make a two-state solution more difficult, such as settlement of territory, settlement activity.” , Demolition, incitement to violence, and providing compensation for persons in prison for acts of terrorism. “

Israel has accused the Palestinians of inciting violence and has raised strong objections to the Palestinian Authority paying the families of those imprisoned for attacking or killing Israel.

Mills stressed that “the US will maintain its firm support for Israel” – opposing unilateral proposals and other actions in international bodies that unfairly exclude Israel and Israel’s standing at the UN and other international organizations Promote Being and Participation.

Milne said that the Biden administration welcomes the recent normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries and will urge other countries to establish relations as well.

“Nevertheless, we believe that Arab-Israeli normalization is not an alternative to Israeli-Palestinian peace,” he said.

Mills stressed that the sinister state of Israeli-Palestinian politics, and the fact that trust between the two sides “is at a nadir,” has led UN member states to “try to preserve the viability of the two-state” Do not free “measures.”

Before Mills spoke, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Malki sharply criticized the Trump administration for using the “United States” and influence to support Israel’s unlawful efforts to end its occupation and control and ” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “reiterates hopes” and positive engagement for the reiteration. “

“Now is the time to fix and repair the damage left by the previous US administration,” he said. “We look forward to reversing the illegal and hostile measures taken by the Trump administration and working together in peace.”

Malki called for a revival of a quartet of Middle East mediators – the US, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia – and reiterated Abbas’ call for an international peace conference “that could signal a turning point in this conflict.” He also hoped that “America will play an important role in multilateral efforts for peace in the Middle East.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow is confident that the quartet, working closely with both sides and Arab states, “can play a very effective role.”

In support of Abbas’ call for an international conference, Lavrov assisted the quartet this spring or summer and analyzed and “launched” the current situation with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Saudi Arabia. Proposed a ministerial meeting to do. Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians ”.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit said “Palestinians have faced unprecedented pressure from the former US administration” and said 22 members of the organization look forward to Biden improving Trump’s actions and working with international and regional parties Huh.

But Israel’s UN ambassador Gilead Erdan told the council that instead of focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it should focus on Iran, which “seeks to hide its intention to destroy the world’s only Jewish state does not do.”

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he suggested that the council discuss what he called “the real barriers to peace: Palestinian incitement and a culture of hate”.

Erasan accused Abbas of inciting violence, saying “Israel is ready to maintain peace.” Which) is just a distraction. “

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